Class Notes (810,551)
Canada (494,145)
Classics (1,680)
CLA160H1 (318)

Week 12 - Aeneid, Books 9-12

6 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto St. George
Timothy Perry

Lecture #11 Page 1 Week Twelve - Aeneid, Books 9-12 April-03-10 Book Nine: • o The Ships of the Trojans • Iris comes (the messenger of the gods) and tells Turnus that it is a good time to attack the Trojans because Aeneas is not there • Turnus goes toward the ships that are sacred to Cybele • Background to the Ships  the pines the ship was made with are sacred to the goddess Cybele  Jupiter could not promise Cybele that the ship would be divine because it was built by mortals  But Jupiter promised that when the ship was destroyed, the pines of the ship would become sea goddesses (nymphs) • Turnus and his men fire at the ships  Similar to what Hector tried to do that Achaean ships in the Iliad  Turnus, however, has somewhat achieved victory because he succeeds in setting fire to the ships (Hector wasn't able to) • The ships sinks and then turn quickly into sea goddesses, just like Jupiter promises • The Sinking of the Trojan Ships  Turnus thinks this is a good victory because now Aeneas is stuck between his army and the sea • He misinterprets the symbolism of the sinking ships  The sinking of Aeneas' ships signify the end of Aeneas' wanderings, which is what Aeneas wants • Aeneas now can settle and make his city o Nisus and Euryalus, Part 1 • Very powerful scene, the most famous of the last few books of the Aeneid • This is a night scene, the Trojans are in their camp and Turnus has set fir to the ship already • The Trojans have been told to stay in their camp until Aeneas has returned, not to go and to battle with Turnus, the Italian • The guards are positioned at the gate, and Nisus is one of the guards  Nisus is inspired to do some sort of good deed  Doesn't know where this inspiration came from, assumes that it is some sort of god who inspired him • Nisus decides to break through the enemy lines to reach Aeneas • He tells his good friend, Euryalus, that he is going to do this and Euryalus wants to go with Nisus on this mission • Nisus and Euryalus to go to enemy lines and kill many of the enemy soldiers who are asleep • BUT Euryalus makes a mistake, he takes the helmet of an Italian hero (Messapus) who is not actually there but left his helmet there  Euryalus hasn't earned this helmet  You are only supposed to take the armour of someone you've defeated  But Messapus is not there and therefore he shouldn't take it • Euryalus and Nisus keep going through enemy lines until they are spotted by a man named Volcens who chases them into some woods • Nisus escapes and flees on but he realizes he has lost Euryalus  He has to go back and help his friend  He sees Volcens and other Italians kill Euryalus who was weighed down by Messapus' helmet that he took  Nisus is then killed, dies next to his friend Lecture #11 Page 2 • Nisus and Euryalus are then taken and paraded as trophies • The episode takes the form of an epyllion  Mini epic poem (popular in Hellenistic Poetry)  Another example of an epyllion in the Aeneid is the story of Cachus and Hercules Vergil steps in at the end of the passage to say: "If my song has any  power you will never be forgotten, while the children of Aeneas live below the steadfast rock of the Capitol, and a Roman father reigns" • This is to symbolize that as long as the Romans reign, they will never be forgotten, they will be given fame This is what epic poetry is meant to do, the give the heroes • fame • Vergil is therefore saying that is he a successful poet for giving fame to Nisus and Euryalus • Unlike Vergil, Homer is often absent from the poem after invoking the muse at the beginning • Vergil enters the poem slightly more often than Homer does • Major Themes:  Hunting VS. War Contrast • • Nisus and Euryalus enter the battlefield looking like hunters • They operate through stealth, not open battle because they are sneaking up on their prey like hunters • Rhoetus sees Nisus and Euryalus but he doesn't speak • He is reduced to the level of an animal and doesn't even cry out when he is killed (just like prey) • When Nisus and Euryalus flee to the woods it symbolizes that they are hunters trying to return to their natural environments (the woods, where hunting is best done) • When they are on the battle grounds they behave like hunters (Stealthy) • When they are in the woods, they act like warriors (they try to fight openly against Volcens) • They get their roles the wrong way around, which leads to their doom  Friendship and Love • Nisus and Euryalus are presented as very close friends and even as lovers • Euryalus is presented in particularly explicit sexual terms • "His friend Euryalus was the handsomest of all the warriors in Aeneas' band. On his unshaven cheeks were manhood's first signs" • He is just beginning to grow his beard, very common description in Roman literature of a young man just entering puberty --> description of lovers • Flower Imagery • The death of Euryalus is described in flowery terms • This is somewhat sexual terms --> love poetry often uses flowery terms • Catullus' poetry uses love poetry as well (Italian poet before Vergil) • He uses the image of a flower being cut to describe a scene in the poetry where Catullus is heartbroken by his unfaithful wife Lecture #11 Page 3 • Used to describe Euryalus in particular as a young lover • Modelled on the Doloneia (Iliad 10)  Overall structure of the scene is modelled on Homer  Doloneia is the story of the night raid • Odysseus and Diomedes raid the Trojans at night and kill a large number of them while they are asleep • They then return safely to camp • Choices of similes in both epics are paralleled • However this is not to say that Vergil copied Homer since the scenes end quite differently o Nisus and Euryalus, Part 2 • Separation of Nisus and Euryalus parallels within the Aeneid  Aeneas and Creusa • Another couple who was separated during the battle while fleeing • Aeneas flees and tells Creusa to follow closely behind • Creusa doesn't make it and so Aeneas goes back to see what happened, but he meets with her ghost (she died) • Similar to what Nisus tells Euryalus to do (tells him to follow closely behind)  Aeneas, Pallas and Evander • Flowery imagery • Pallas is the son of Evander • An older man (Aeneas) and a younger man (Pallas) --> similar relationship with Nisus and Euryalus • Pallas, like Euryalus, is described in erotic terms using flower imagery when he dies • Pallas is compared to a dropping flower
More Less

Related notes for CLA160H1

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.